Monday, February 08, 2016

Happy Birthday to ME!

It's no secret, I love my birthday!!  Why do I love my birthday?  Because I have great family and friends that remind me that I am loved, especially on my birthday!

I had a ton of phone calls, texts, emails, BIRTHDAY CARDS and Facebook messages.

Some birthday love:

You can't beat that kind of birthday love!  Unless it's with more family time!  The weekend after my birthday, I got together with family for lunch at one of my favorite places.  Good food and family.  That's a recipe for a great day, birthday or not!

Don't ask me to spell or pronounce what I had for lunch, but it was freakin' awesome!

I love my family.  The family that is mine by birth and blood and my family that is mine because they choose me.  I am one lucky woman.

Thank you to all for the messages, the positive vibes and all that good stuff.  It was a great birthday.

So, another year older.  I'm usually ok with that because I think it's better than the alternative!  But this year is different for me.  This is the year I turned 53.

Not a horrible number.  It's not turning a page on another decade.  It's just another year, the year between 52 and 54?  I'm now 53.

My sister Barbara died when she was 53.

My sister Barbara was a mentor, a role model, a friend.  Her passing was a shock and I still miss her every day.

As for the age of 53, I think now it's a superstitious thing.  When my sister Cathie turned 53, I was worried about her all year until she turned 54!  I didn't really think about it after that until I was knocking on the door of 53 myself!

I just had some dental surgery (next blog!) and don't think it's not on my mind about scheduling any kind of surgery when I'm 53!  I'm not normally a superstitious person but I think I kinda am on this point!

So, I'm 53.  I can't believe I'm going to say this, but c'mon 54!  I'm looking forward to meeting you!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

I am a Maintenance Failure

I gave it my best shot!  Some things are just beyond me!

I blogged about trying to fix the trim outside of my bedroom window.  I really thought I had a good enough fix on there to last until spring when I could get it really fixed.  Last Thursday night I went to go to bed and BANG!  That freaking trim piece was again banging away against the house on a windy night.  I guess the staples pulled right out of the wood.

I had given my brother Mike back his staple gun after the last repair and now he's in China.  I may never find that staple gun at his house!  I'm working on my problem solving skills so I'm trying to think this through on my own.  I moved my heavy ass bed again, I got out the step ladder, climbed up and hung out the window to take a look.

Yep, there's that piece flapping in the breeze all right.  But now, instead of just being bent at the top from the wind, the trim is ripped about half way across.  Fine.  Forget the damn staple gun.  I'm just going to RIP that f-er off!

That's easier said than done!  I grabbed and yanked for all I was worth.  I will tell you, this tin is sharp.  I had visuals of slicing my fingers off!  I grabbed my little scissors that I use to cut coupons and figured they would NOT do the job.  So, I asked my brother Phil if he had anything to cut metal.  Who knew??  He DID!  It's a contraption that kinda looks like a heavy duty pair of scissors that are called tin snips.  Perfect!

Back to my room with Phil in tow in case I needed help.  (Plus I think he was nervous about me playing with sharp objects!)  Back up on the step stool, back to hanging out the window to get a look.  It's awkward to look back at what I'm doing from how I'm hanging out the window.  I think I might have scared Phil a bit because suddenly, he's hanging on to the waistband of my pants to prevent me from falling out of the window!

I'm sure his intentions were good but honestly, I never thought about me falling out of the window.  I was too angry with the whole thing to be thinking that clearly.  But, something about him holding on to me gave me visions of him pushing me out that window!  LET GO!  I know I'm a bitch when I'm angry!  He let go but stayed close, and I cut the last inch or so of that piece of trim left handed.

There.  It's fixed!

The bare wood there on the left side of the window looks like crap and now I'm in danger of getting water behind the siding.  Hopefully it will all be ok until spring when I can get someone out there to fix it the right way.

Tin snips!  Could be my new favorite tool!

Monday, January 11, 2016

Winter Found Me!

As much as I tried living in denial, I really am in Ohio and it really is winter!

We may have had a flake or two of snow fall before but yesterday it finally came down with enough oomph to actually stick.

This was early in the storm and it kept snowing for a few more hours after this.  There wasn't enough that I had to go out and shovel it, but my driveway is a sheet of ice.  It's too cold for salt to do much so I'm crossing my fingers waiting for this to melt before I fall on my ass.

What a dreary day with so much more of this coming right behind this storm.  It was the kind of day to stay in your jammies and cook a big pot of soup.  That's pretty much what I did!

I chose to make a pot of lentil soup.  It's been so long since I've made lentil soup I really couldn't remember how.  So I did a couple of quick google searches and picked the easiest parts out of a couple of recipes (yes, ME!) and even added a few more things.  I gotta tell you the soup turned out awesome!!  This was a great meal for leftovers too.  I think soup is always better the longer it sits.  This one had lots of lentils, lots of veggies and lots of flavor.  Go me!

The drive to work was surprisingly cautious.  I know, the first snow and people forget how to drive.  But aside from the one joker that ended up spun out on someone's tree lawn, everyone seemed to be driving well and I made it to work safe and sound.  I just saw on TV though that this is just the tip of the iceberg though as it's going to get ugly on Tuesday.

Winter.  It finally found me.  Can't say I'm thrilled with that.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Christmas Joy

In following the theme that our family doesn't do much in a traditional way, we celebrated our Christmas dinner together on Saturday, January 2nd.  Hey with most everyone having to travel into Ohio for the party, we thought this weekend worked better than rushing everyone over Christmas weekend.

My sister Cathie from California unfortunately didn't make dinner.  The rest of us were accounted for and we did the proper amount of talking about Cathie since she wasn't there!  Hey, we love you Sister!!  And we all missed you too!

This year, my niece JoBeth suggested a different path for our Christmas dinner.  Instead of the normal turkey/ham/thousands of side dishes, we went for . . . a taco bar!!!  We had the regular taco meat, some pulled pork and the regular trimmings for tacos.  By the way, whoever made the refried beans . . . they were awesome!  Anyway, taco bar followed by an ice cream bar.  Yeah, life is good!

I thought of taking pictures almost too late again.  I sucked at it for Thanksgiving.  This time I think I might have most everyone in the pictures.

Left to right we have Mary Jane, Bill and Philip.

Michael, Brad and JoBeth.

Mike, Jim and Grady.  This is my favorite picture just because of that camera face of Grady's!  Rarely a serious picture is taken in this family!  Love it!!

And most of the rest of my family, Isaiah, Noah and Jenny!  And dang it, I just realized I don't have Evan in any pictures.  I told you, I think of this too late when some of the family is off doing other things!

It was a great dinner, with great conversation, lots of love and hugs.  I couldn't ask for more.  

And now on to some of the Christmas booty.  ONLY from my family would these two items be considered GREAT gifts!!!

On the right is a jar of . . . . gravy!!!  That's my brother Mike's hand in that one.  Hey after all the ribbing he got over Thanksgiving for buying TEN bottles of gravy, he got me one for Christmas in case we were low!  I love that guy!

And from my peeps Mike and Jenny . . . that's a baggie of bread crumbs.  Bread crumbs you ask??  Well, the baggie was part of the gift.  The other part of the gift was a gift card to the new store in Elyria, At Home.  Jenny and I took a goof off day recently and went shopping.  If you've never been to At Home, it's HUGE.  And since it was new, Jenny and I felt we needed to check out every aisle.  That was a good steps day, let me tell you!  

Jenny and I had directional issues in the store.  We couldn't find the bathroom and then you'd think finding your way out would be easy.  Whatever.  We had issues.  Hence the bread crumbs!  Now, when I go back to play with my gift card, I have the bread crumbs to drop through the store so I can find my way out again!  I love my family!

You don't have to be crazy to be a part of my family . . . but it helps!

Monday, January 04, 2016

Attitude. It's Contagious

I have to tell you what happened today.

It wasn't a horrible day.  Not steller, but not horrible.  I left work and was running some errands and felt . . . level.  Not happy, not mad, just level.  All was ok in my world.

I ran to my bank to cash a check.  This would be the Fifth Third Bank in downtown Elyria.  It was close to closing time (within 15 minutes), there was a short line and the employees were moving at a decent pace.  No big deal, I had the check I wanted to cash in my hand along with my driver's license, I was good to go.

It was my turn, I was called up to the window, handed the teller my signed check with my account number on it and my driver's license.  I do try to be prepared, what more could she ask for!

She took my stuff, never said hello, how are you, nothing.  I'm ok with that part, I hate idle chit chat for the sake of chit chat.  However, her dismissiveness (is that a word?) to me made her a disgrace to her profession.

She cashed my check which I considered for a good amount of money.  She put a stack of money on the counter in front of me and WALKED AWAY!  Are you kidding me??  So in front of all of the cameras in the bank, and with enough flair to let her know how I felt about her attitude, I counted out all of my money to make sure it was all there.

Probably not a smart thing to do in downtown Elyria but now I'm pissed.

All of my money was there and accounted for so that was a good thing.  However, because this moron was in a bad mood and took it out on me, she shared that bad mood with me.  I left the bank after a one minute encounter with this broad feeling like shit and mad at the world. 

I did learn a huge lesson today.  So there, for all of you that thought I was too old to learn anything!

Attitudes really are contagious.  Who hasn't been in a so-so mood, came across someone that was just in a great mood and you took some of their great mood home with you.  And in reverse, this woman who helped put that dark cloud over my head for the next hour or so.

I'm going to try to remember this message.  If I'm in a bad mood, I will do my best if out in public to make myself smile.  Hopefully it might help someone else who is having a bad day or it will help me get out of my bad mood.  Either way, I will do my best to not spread the bad mood to perfect strangers.

I don't know peed in the teller's cornflakes today but I hope her day got better.  Luckily mine did.

And I Fixed it! Well, Sort of . . .

As a quick update to the last post, as you know it wasn't the satellite dish coming off of my house that made all that noise.  What happened is the trim piece on the bedroom window came loose and was flapping in the breeze.

I got repair instructions from my go-to guy Mike.  I couldn't do everything he suggested I do but I got most of it.

First I had to move my heavy bed and that was probably the worst part of this project.  Due to the size of my ass, I had to move the bed farther than I wanted to move it to get at the window.  But, move it I did and put a step ladder next to the window.  I couldn't get the actual window to pop out of the frame so I lowered the window from the top, got up on the step ladder and hung out my window to work on that trim.  Yeah, no one is ever around with a camera when you need them!

I tried to unbend the bend in the aluminum.  I couldn't figure out how to do it as it wasn't cooperating with me.  I think part of it was I really was afraid of falling out my window and I was kinda working backwards.  It's hard to explain but I just couldn't make it work.

So, I took the staple gun that I borrowed from Mike, held the trim down the best I could and put a couple of staples in it.

Before repair:

After repair:

I know, it's not straight since I couldn't get that bend at the top out.  But at least it's not flapping in the breeze.

Which makes for much quieter nights.

Which makes me much happier.

I still need a maintenance man.

But in a pinch, my half-assed job is better than nothing.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Take Cover! The Sky is Falling!

Damn the storm last night rattled me, rattled my house, even rattled my cats!

It wasn't the worst storm I've ever lived through but that wind was wicked last night.  Some storms, it's better to crawl into bed, pull the covers over your head and try to fall asleep to get through the storm.

I went to my bedroom and was getting ready for bed when I heard it.  Something metallic banging outside of my bedroom window!  What the HECK!  I tried to look out the window to see what was going on but it was too dark to see anything.  I do know that just below that window is my satellite dish and in my mind, that was hanging now by a thread, making that banging metallic sound I was hearing.

The sound quieted down a bit, I crawled into bed when the wind kicked up again and BAM BAM BAM.  I totally freaked myself right out.  My imagination goes from 0-100 in 1.2 seconds.  The satellite dish is on top of a small roof that is over where the window seat in the dining room juts out of the house, which is right below my bedroom window.  In my mind, this is what was going to happen:

The satellite dish was going to come unhooked from the house, swing down on its wires and come crashing through the dining room window.  The cats were all going to jump out of the broken window, run right into the street and all get hit by cars.  See how my mind works?  I saw all of that in my head in literally less than a second.  I am my own worst enemy some days.

I got right back out of bed, made the bed back up, grabbed my pillow and went downstairs to sleep on the couch.  I figured if I was downstairs, I could be right there to stop my cats from jumping out the window and dying once the satellite broke that window!  Hey, it made sense to me.

We all made it through the night alive and with no broken windows.  I came upstairs to get dressed and I heard that damn banging again.  I thought for sure that satellite dish was swinging in the breeze.  I got dressed, fed the cats, grabbed a flashlight and went outside to assess the damage.  I was shocked at what I saw!

It's the aluminum cover over the wood of the window frame.  I should be happy that the damage wasn't worse.  The piece didn't come off totally and it doesn't seem to have taken any siding off with it.  So, I will move my bed a little, take that window out, hang out my window and nail that back onto the house.

If anyone is driving by my house and sees me hanging out that window, please do not call 9-1-1.  I'm ok and just trying to fix my window!!

Um, on the other hand . . . if you see me hanging out that window, perhaps head down, leg caught in the window?  Call for help!

Wish me luck!

We Made it Through Christmas

We all know that Christmas isn't for everyone.  It doesn't mean to me what it used to and it's a chore to get through it some years.  I'm not in the dark place about Christmas that I have been in previous years, but I pretty much tried to ignore it, get through my long weekend and get back to reality.

Phil, playing his Santa, was busy that weekend, go figure!  I wasn't doing much cooking over the weekend, and I decided not to do a lot of adulting either.  I spent the weekend with my Netflix!  That wasn't a bad way to pass the weekend.

I have a list of shows on Netflix that I want to see.  If I'll ever make the time to do it, I don't know.  But, for this weekend I chose Sons of Anarchy for my Netflix binge watching marathon!!!

Ok, not very Christmasy.  Lots of blood, guts, death, dismembering, basic mayhem.  Season one was FABULOUS!  Season two, also AWESOME!  Season three . . . meh.  I was struggling.  However . . . the season finale episode of Season three was STELLAR!  That was some damn good television watching!  That one episode made Season three worth it!  Damn!  Now only four more seasons and I'll have seen them all.

So, another long weekend for binge watching is coming up.  Blood and guts aside, I plan on spending as much of my weekend as I can with some tatted up biker boys again.  Yep, them grungy men made this old lady's heart beat a little faster.

What can I say . . . I've always had questionable taste in men!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Which is Worse?

I was cleaning the bathroom this morning and I started to think about cleaning.  Specifically, what is the WORST part of cleaning your house.

I mean seriously, no part of cleaning your house is fun, but let's face it, some chores are better than others.

So, I tried to come up with what was my least favorite part.  You'd think it had to do with scooping poop.  Let's face it, I have four cats.  That means I have five litter boxes which get cleaned between three and seven times a week.  One thing about cats, that are great at peeing, pooping and puking.  I clean up all three so regularly that none of it bothers me anymore.

Cleaning up cat hair?  Naw, again, it's part of every day life around here.  My favorite is scraping up the cat hair that is glued to the floor by hairspray.  Good times!

Cleaning a toilet?  Not the worst thing I can think of.  Cleaning grout?  Nope, not even close.

I contacted some family members to find out what their least favorite chore was. 

My sister Cathie said her least favorite was cleaning the tub.  Yuck, not a fun job.

Jim said his least favorite was a tie between doing dishes and dusting.  Yeah, like I said,  none are great and I'm not a fan of either of these either.

Jenny's was a toss up between mopping the floors and finding homes for all the the stuff the boys have!  Ugh, there has to be an easier way!

My least favorite??  I HATE, and I mean HATE . . . cleaning the hair from the vacuum sweeper's roller.  This job makes me gag every time.  I don't know what there is about this job but I absolutely hate it and would happily pay someone to clean it out for me every week.

Oh yeah, and then that person can clean the tub, do the dishes, dust, mop the floors and put all of MY crap away!  They all suck!